The heat wave that has been baking the upper Midwest has broken, for a while at least. After more than a week of temperatures in the 90s, it’s supposed to be down to 82° today, and then in the 70s for a couple of days. That sure sounds good to me.
Friday night it rained really hard, and then yesterday we had sprinkles on and off and then a good rain came down in the early afternoon. It’s been pretty dry around here, so I know it was needed. I’m sure the farmers were really glad to see it.
I haven’t been doing much except for writing pretty steadily the last few days, and yesterday afternoon I finished Stillborn Armadillos, the first book in my new John Lee Quarrels mystery/adventure series. John Lee is a good old boy deputy sheriff in Somerton County, Florida who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. This isn’t the Florida of palm trees and sandy beaches, it’s inland northern Florida, the land of pine trees and rednecks. The series is part mystery, part adventure/thriller, and part spoof. It’s kind of a cross between Big Lake and Dog’s Run, but a little grittier than my Big Lake series.
The first book in the series, Stillborn Armadillos, starts with the discovery of a 70 year old triple murder. The title comes from John Lee’s pony tail wearing, pot smoking, 70 year old grandfather, who is convinced there was never a live armadillo, they are all born dead alongside of the road. If you’ve ever been down south, you know what I mean.
The story really flowed right out of me, partly because I’ve been going over it in my head for quite a while now. I started writing this book July 20, and I didn’t work on it every day. Before editing, it came in at a little over 79,000 words. After going through it yesterday evening looking for anything I missed, I printed it out. Today Miss Terry will start the proofing/editing process. I’m hoping to have it out in a week or so.
If you’re a fan of my Big Lake mystery series, don’t worry, I’m not abandoning all those zany people in that little mountain town. I’ll spend the next week or so working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, then I’m going right back to Big Lake and starting on the 11th book in the series.
All work and no play isn’t good for you, and neither is going hungry, so after I finished the last page of the new book yesterday, we grabbed our buddy Al Hesselbart and went to King Wa for Chinese food. It was delicious, as always, and we enjoyed hearing all about Al’s trip to Massachusetts for the FMCA rally, and then a visit with his brothers. Rumor has it that Al has a birthday coming up next Saturday. I’m not quite sure how old he’s going to be, we may have to saw him in half and count the rings.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Capitol Offense, the second book in my pal George Weir’s Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but at least you don’t have to mow it.